Republican speakers made misleading claims about calls from some politicians to reform or defund the police during the first night of the RNC.
“The police aren’t coming when you call in Democrat-run cities. They’re already being defunded, disbanded. Blaming our best and allowing society’s worst? That’s the story they write in Hollywood,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said in his remarks.
“Democrats spent a lot of time talking about how much they despise our president. But we heard very little about their actual policies. Policies that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. Policies like banning fossil fuels, eliminating private health insurance, taxpayer-funded health care for people who come here illegally, and defunding the police,” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said shortly after, referring to last week’s Democratic National Convention.
While there are some on the left who have embraced calls to cut police funding, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and the Democratic Party are not among them. Biden says he supports adding funding for local police forces and using more psychologists and social workers to do police work. The official Democratic Party platform, approved last week, does not include any references to defunding the police.
Asked recently by ABC News if he supports defunding the police, Biden said “No, I don’t.”
There are some cities run by Democratic mayors that have sought to reduce police funding — New York City shifted $1 billion in funding out of the police budget — and some, like Minneapolis, have considered a fundamental rethinking of policing. But that doesn’t mean Americans have been left without police. New York City’s police still has a $5 billion operating budget. Efforts to disband the Minneapolis police through a ballot initiative have so far failed.